Since I do not illustrate human figures, it might be interesting to share some romance book cover projects that came my way.
I didn’t do too many, but I was quite comfortable painting those illustrations that I did. I especially enjoy illustrating flowers.
On one of the jobs, I was required to paint a “Tartan plaid,” which was supposed to depict the book’s Irish theme. I was actually shipped a piece of fabric to copy. It was interesting that when the job was printed, a foil was added that totally obliterated the ribbon. I created a better version to share in the blog, but I’ll share the one with the foil. It was for the book entitled, “Bride of the Mist.”
There was a great disparity in the prices for editorial vs. advertising illustration. The amount of work involved is usually extensive for a book cover and these paid approximately $1,000 each. That was considered an excellent price at the time. A comparable advertising illustration would have been five times more.
I always made sure that my original artwork was returned. Avon Books lost my painting of autumn leaves for, “See You in September.” I was very disappointed, and my agent pursued getting me a compensatory payment of $500. I never received another assignment from that publisher after that.
Of course, I’ve illustrated some cookbooks, too.
I’ve always pursued getting printed samples of my work. At times, I have not been able to obtain anything printed. Sometimes, I find my work printed in different venues, especially with stock images that are sold without my knowing where they’re been used.
I’ve illustrated two covers incorporating autumn leaves. At the time I illustrated “See You In September,” I was friendly with another art director in upstate New York. When I shared with her what I was illustrating, she was kind enough to ship me a box of autumn leaves from the east coast. That might sound like a wonderful story, except it was heartbreaking for me that the leaves started to crumble while I worked with them. They were very fragile and brittle. Unfortunately, the art director wanted me to return them. I felt badly when I shipped them back with so many of them broken!